John 15: 13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
There is no greater message than this passage brings. The love of God is clearly demonstrated in this verse. How does one measure love? What is He saying when He says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends“? These words were not just merely spoken without meaning, but were words that He backed with His very life. For with each step He took, He moved closer to Calvary, where He would fully give that we might live. His words are packed with such meaning because they describe the actions of His heart. You see, it wasn’t enough for Him to tell you He loved you. In order to redeem you, He had to prove He loved you. Without any thought for His own comfort, His own desires, His own needs, or even His own life, He gave for us everything He had. His every action portrayed His love for you and me.
The cruel cross of Calvary was never meant for Christ. You see the cruel cross of Calvary was a place where sin was to be nailed. Our Saviour never knew sin (II Corinthians 5:21). Yet He chose to become sin for us that through the sacrificial shedding of His own blood our sins could be wiped white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). The cross was a place for sin. Christ’s blood was the payment for sin. So as He walked up the lonely hill of Golgotha, He fully knew what it was going to take to buy your pardon, so He walked forward with each step to the cross with you on His mind and the love for your soul in His heart. He willingly laid down His life on the cross of Calvary so that you could receive complete forgiveness of your sins. This is how we measure love. Love isn’t just about doing, it isn’t about showing, it isn’t about what we get in return. It is all about truly placing the needs, wants and welfare of another person, not just above your own, but in place of your own. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Now Christ has laid the example that we are to follow and He made this perfectly clear in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” To love as He has loved us requires us to freely give ourselves to our others. We must learn to love others with such a deep and strong love, that we love without regard for ourselves. We must be willing to place the needs, wants and welfare of another person in front of our own. To love as He loved is to focus on the well-being and needs of another over the importance we place upon the needs and well-being of ourselves.
To love as He modeled requires a lifetime of sacrifice (1 Peter 2:21). But we must choose whether we will obey or disobey His word. To choose to obey His word is signing up for a lifetime of sacrifice that leads to a lifetime of rewards. His sacrifice bought us heaven. Our sacrifice will introduce others to Him. In light of all He has done, what will you lay down for Him? “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.“